Refugee dependant family members may be deported from the UK if the situation in their country of origin has changed

Granting refugee status usually implies the existence of certain circumstances that would make it illegal for a person to return to his country of origin. But circumstances may change, and this may affect whether a person will continue to have a refugee status.

Article 1C (5) of the Refugee Convention and paragraph 339A (v) of the Immigration Rules give the Home Office the right to revoke refugee status if the circumstances in which the person has been recognized as a refugee have changed. The situation may be completely different if the person who has been granted refugee status is a dependent person, and his parents are escaping in the UK from persecution in their country.

In the case of Secretary of State v. K.N. (DRC) [2019] The EWCA Civ 1665 the Court of Appeal found that refugee status could be revoked if the circumstances that led to the granting of status changed.

Refugee status may be revoked due to a criminal offense

K.N. came to the UK at the age of nine. He and other members of his family were recognized as refugees in 1994 due to the political activities of his father in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

K.N. He was convicted of various crimes and ultimately convicted of conspiracy to robbery in June 2012, for which he was sentenced to imprisonment for four and a half years.

The Home Office has attempted to deport K.N. in accordance with article 72 of the 2002 Law on Citizenship, Immigration and Asylum. It was assumed that K.N. poses a danger to society because of the crimes he committed. The Home Office also sent K.N. a letter annulling his refugee status stating that “the circumstances surrounding his initial asylum application have changed since fundamental and lasting changes have taken place in the Democratic Republic of Congo”. K.N. appealed against both decisions.

The court considered that the actions of K.N. do not fall under Section 72 of the Law, and, accordingly, that his refugee status cannot be anulled.

The High Court also ruled in favour of K.N. in the decision on deportation. The court found that he was not recognized as a refugee in his own right, but "because his parents were recognized as refugees." Consequently, “any political changes in the Democratic Republic of Congo were not related to the circumstances in connection with which he was recognized as a refugee”.

The Court of Appeal found that, in accordance with Article 1C (5) and paragraph 339A (v):

“The withdrawal of refugee status is not allowed solely because of a change in the basis on which the defendant was granted this status, “a change in the circumstances in connection with which he was recognized as a refugee ” is also required.

Posted in English on Oct 16, 2019.